Worship Elements: February 9, 2020

January 1st, 2020

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

COLOR: Green
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9, (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16); Matthew 5:13-20

Call to Worship

L: God said, "Let there be light."

P: And there was light.

L: Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."

P: And the light shone in the darkness.

L: Jesus said, "You are the light of the world."

A: And the light shall not be quenched.

Call to Worship

L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

P: And also with you.

L: O praise the Lord! Happy is the person who fears the Eternal One.

P: We find great joy in God's commandments.

Call to Worship

L: Holy God, we have left our homes and warm beds to be in your presence.

P: We gather in your name to worship and praise you.

L: May this first day of the week . . .

P: be only one of many days in which we sing your praises and worship you.

Invocation

God of wisdom and righteousness, your standards and expectations of us have not changed. Fill us with the desire to know your truth and to follow your commandments. Amen.

Invocation

Eternal Spirit, Creator of all places and peoples, we come together in the name of the Christ. In him you became one with us, that we might become one with one another in the worship of you.

Invocation

Invisible God, you have revealed yourself to us in Jesus Christ, sharing your own Spirit in communion with our spirit. As we come to worship disclose yourself more fully as we hear your written word and pray in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen

Litany

L: God in Christ has shown us the beauty of holiness.

P: We come now to express our gratitude to God with our best gifts.

L: What are these gifts?

P: Our prayers, our praise, and the gifts of our hands.

L: These we should offer unto the Lord, but these are not all the Lord asks. The Lord also asks that we break the yoke of tyranny and let the oppressed go free.

P: We would do all that the Lord asks.

L: The Lord asks that we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless.

P: We would do all that the Lord asks.

L: The Lord asks that we attend the afflicted and give ourselves for those in need.

P: We would do all that the Lord asks.

L: Then our light shall rise at midnight and our gloom be as the noonday.

A: We will do all that the Lord asks.

Prayer of Confession

Creator - Restorer - Ruler: We are prone to point the finger at others and to pervert justice by exaggerated charges. We want the rich to feed the hungry, but not to share from our own provisions. We prefer charity in principle, but in practice evade our duty even to our own kin. Some of us live in half-empty houses while there are families crowded into rooms too small for them, if they have rooms at all. Forgive our failure to live up to the best we know and to let the oppressed go free even after you have freed us. Amen.

Declaration of Pardon

Pastor: Friends, hear the Good News! Christ nailed to the cross attests the cost of God's love and forgiveness.

People: Our faith is not built on human wisdom, but on the power of God.

Pastor: Friends, believe the Good News!

People: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Exhortation

You must shed light among your neighbors so that when they see the good you do, they may give praise to your heavenly Father.

Prayer for One Voice

Gracious God, we thank you for the light that shone in Jesus, revealing unto us your holiness and our righteousness. We deplore this gap, yet we rejoice that you chased the darkness that kept it hidden from our eyes. By your light we are both encouraged and condemned. We are reassured to see your face turned in our direction, bidding us to come unto you. But we shudder at the sight of us turning our backs on you, resisting the light that could mirror your glory.

We thank you, O God, for leaving your light in the world even though we have not always heeded your summons to become the light of the world. Instead of illuminating your character, we have blurred it. You have commanded us to love you with all our being, but we have consigned our love to the pigeonhole of religion. You have commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we have been too preoccupied with ourselves to find them. You have called us to be peacemakers, yet we have encouraged the arms makers with our fears and our fortunes. You have summoned us to be wall breakers, yet we have supported the wall makers with our silence and our sympathy. We have seen the light, but we have refused to walk in it.

Yet we long, O Lord, to keep your law and do your will. We ask forgiveness for our rebellion, not merely for the sake of the joy we have denied ourselves, but also for the joy we have denied others. Keep ever before us the needs of the world into which you sentJesus and for whose sake he gave himself to the uttermost. Let us feel its pain as our own, seek its good as our own, and work for its transformation in the name and spirit of him who came into the world not to condemn but to redeem it.

We listen now, O God, for your word. Let its message illumine our minds that we may will as Jesus willed. Let its spirit quicken our hearts that we may love as Jesus loved. Let its power speed our steps that we may do as Jesus did.

Benediction

You have called us, O God, to embrace the mission of Jesus as our own. Our sight is not equal to this vision, and our strength is not equal to this task. But you, O Lord, are a merciful God. You give light to those who walk in darkness, and you grant strength to those who carry heavy loads. As we return to the workaday world, let us see your light before us and feel your strength within us.

Benediction

Go, as a forgiven and holy people, to do the will of the one who loves us unconditionally.

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